In a First, Debates Give Presidential Candidates the Topics Ahead Of Time


Back in the olden days, this was called cheating.

Are the presidential debates in danger of becoming as scripted as professional wrestling?

Wednesday afternoon, the Commission on Presidential Debates quietly posted a press release announcing the topics for the first presidential debate in Denver on October 3. What the commission didn't say is that this may be the first time in history presidential candidates have been given the topics of a debate ahead of time.

"We had been thinking about this for awhile," says CPD executive director Janet Brown. "CPD's intention is to have the candidates come prepared for a more in-depth conversation."


Though specific questions were not given, debate moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS NewsHour announced the topics of the questions on the commission Web site, saying that three questions will be on the economy, one on health care, one on the role of government and one on governing.

"Romney, Obama debates to be more controlled and duller than usual,"
election reform blog Democracy Chronicles warned Thursday.